Scottsdale, AZ ~ How a roll of Tums ended up costing $32

Wednesday April 12th – Cross the Border into the USA, Scottsdale AZ

Nearing the Mexico, US Border

Another extended and uneventful day on the bus. There were some wonderful highlight moments on this trip, but the very long bus rides, especially two of them back to back made the culmination of the trip less memorable. 

Along the drive from Mexico toward the USA border

Our drive through the Chihuahua Desert, (the largest in North America), was similar to the Sonoran Desert we traversed on our way south. The ocotillo cactus were blooming with their fiery red heads at the end of long spindly branches.

Ocotillo in bloom

Sorry that these pictures are not up to pare, being taken from our moving bus.

Lunch in Agua Prieta was not remarkable.

I know Manuel was concerned about our border crossing from Mexico back into the USA. He says it can be anywhere from OK to a complete nightmare. We were hoping for the best.

More of the massive rocks we passed by

There were three different checkpoints we had to traverse before actually crossing the border at Douglas. Two were controlled by the heavily armed Mexican military instead of the Mexican police. We were strongly advised that NO PICTURES were allowed to be taken at any check point, especially where men were wielding guns!

By the way, the header picture at the top of the page is of the current wall between our countries.

The Wall

At the first stop, a lone soldier came on board the bus, (while another heavily armed agent stood beside the coach), and spoke to Manuel a moment. We were described as a group of retirees whom he had just taken to Copper Canyon. After a quick glance at us, he wished us a good day and let us pass.

And our good fortune continued from there with the fruit/food check point. Again, a very quick, “Does anyone have any fresh food items” “No” “OK, thank you”. Of course we had been heavily warned and reminded that any fresh items MUST be consumed before reaching this point to avoid a hefty fine.

When reaching the final check point, we disembarked from the bus with our passports in hand. Formalities leaving Mexico were done quickly and professionally. Passports stamped and we then proceeded the short distance to the American side.

Again passports produced, stamped and we were marshaled to a waiting area where we watched as our bus was inspected.

This part was rather interesting as a vehicle was slowly driven along side the bus – down one side, up the other side. This was a mobile x-ray type system that could detect any hidden compartments where a person, money, drugs or any other illegal substance could be concealed from view.

After one complete scan, this was again repeated.

Then the sniffing dog was taken around the bus, up into the baggage compartments, and eventually two agents with the dog disappeared onto the bus. They inspected for roughly ten minutes before we were given the green light to get back on board and pass on into Arizona.

Miguel said this was the smoothest, quickest crossing he had ever had.

As we progressed north, we passed through Bisbee and Tombstone, where Tim and I had just visited in January. Here are a couple of links in case you are curious to see what we enjoyed in either city, or see the highlights from that trip:

Bisbee – Copper mines, a charming artists community, and a museum linked to the Smithsonian.

Statue of Wyatt Earp in Tombstone

Tombstone – Where the shootout at the OK Corral transpired. Definitely take a step back into the Wild Wild West here. The graveyard was a highlight.

Our final destination was Scottsdale, Arizona. Hasty thank you’s and goodbyes were said to our tour leader, driver and fellow travelers. Somehow after the long bus ride, and our farewell dinner the night before, it seemed anti-climatic as we parted ways. We knew there was a chance of seeing a few members the following morning at breakfast before heading out to the airport, but that was a roll of the dice as everyone had different departure times.

Dick, Karen, Tim and I decided to walk a short distance into Old Town Scottsdale in search of a good meal. Dick was drooling for a bone-in rib eye.

I was looking for some Tums to settle my burning stomach.

After asking a couple of people where a pharmacy or convenience store was located, we were pointed in a general direction and took off walking – and walking – and walking.

Still no luck, but we found a restaurant, The Mission, that had excellent reviews, and several people exiting highly recommended it. We put our name on the hour and a half waiting list.

That gave us plenty of time to find those elusive antacids.

About that time, Dick spotted a young woman driving a golf cart down the street. He said he needed some help. Before we knew it he was motioning to us to climb on board her cart and off we went in search of the nearest store that could accommodate my needs.

Well, little did we know that we were in for quite a ride. Block after block passed us, as Stephanie, AKA Juggsie, plummeted us with questions. Dick hinted that a $2 tip would be coming. She smilingly pointed to her sign in front which indicated her pricing: 1-2 people was $10 for a ride, and 3-4 was $15. But, she mentioned that we were her first ride of the evening, so any amount we wanted to give her was fine, but she hinted with a wink and a smile, that she would appreciate a bit more than $2.

Eventually she pulled up in front of a CVS or Walgreen’s or 7/11 or ??? I have no idea by this time. Tim jumps off and proceeds to get me the Tums for much-needed relief.

By this time we were many blocks away from where our dinner was to be. Juggsie had pointed out about 50 bars and hotspots for evening entertainment.

Really??? After 10 hours on a bus, all I wanted was a nice dinner and a comfortable bed…

Old Town, Scottsdale, AZ

But, she was very personable, the Old Town looked inviting, and we still had over an hour to wait – SOOOOO, off we went for a “guided tour” on her golf cart. Turns out that there is a lot more to Scottsdale than I realized. Might even want to spend a day or two here at some point in the future.

Eventually, we returned to our point of origin, and Tim gave her $30 for the ride and tour. The ride ended up more memorable than our dinner…

Joanne and Juggsie

Overnight: Scottsdale and then our flight home.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that Tums were invented, that a quirky young girl crossed our path at just the right time, and that another fun, interesting, enlightening, and long time dream of a trip was coming to a close.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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20 Responses to Scottsdale, AZ ~ How a roll of Tums ended up costing $32

  1. Sandy says:

    Sounds like quite the trip. As I was reading your tale of crossing the border, I was thinking it sounded pretty smooth, all things considered. Glad nothing went wrong, that could be frightening. The Ocotillo are in bloom here also. You’d think, living in the Chihuahuan desert, I would have looked up exactly what ground that covered but I haven’t so I just did. I didn’t realize it went that far into AZ. We live out in the country and my Dad wrote a collection of nature pieces about living at the house here in the desert called Living in Paradise: Essays from the Chihuahuan desert. After living in the north the majority of my life, it is interesting to see the contrast. Glad you got the unexpected tour in Scottsdale! While I have kept gratitude journals in the past, you inspired me to start doing that again in my food journal. Happy Trails

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    • Sandy, it is always bittersweet having a trip come to an end. I too was surprised to learn just how enormous the Chihuahuan desert is. It must be quite interesting for you to read your fathers writing and be able to see things through his eyes. My gratitude moments help keep me focused on all that is wonderful in my life. I hope you will join me. ❤️

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  2. A memorable trip. Very enjoyable post. Glad you got your tums.

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  3. Camie says:

    Glad your border crossing went well (you never know!) and I’d say that was $32 well spent. 😅

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  4. tippysmom2 says:

    Glad the long bus ride ended well. The cactus were very pretty, even if a little blurry. 😉 I love the humor in your writing – glad that Juggsie came by at just the right time and you had a memorable evening before your flight home the next day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. curvyroads says:

    I’m so amused that Juggsie provided a fun experience to end your trip! 😁

    And congrats on that smooth border crossing too!

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  6. Cheri says:

    Too bad you had to rush through Scottsdale, which has the Musical Instruments Museum, the Frank Lloyd Wright home Taliesen, the new aquarium Odysea, the Heard Museum, and many great restaurants. Perhaps you have blogged about these spots before. I apologize if you have. And I did get a kick out of Stephanie’s appointed moniker….Juggsie. I see why. 🙂

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    • Hi Cheri, we have had the opportunity to visit MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) a couple of times and it is one of our favorites. We have also been to both the aquarium and the next door butterfly farm. It was Old Town that caught me by surprise and appears to be a fun place to explore. ~ JJ

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  7. Let’s hear it for Juggsie! It’s been a while since I’ve crossed the Mexican border in anything other than a jet. But my memory of the American check point is that it is always harder to get back into the US than it is to get out. We have had our van subject to the sniffing dogs and X-rays in Arizona. No fun. Made me realize what living in a police state might be like. –Curt

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  8. jjspina says:

    Relieved to hear that your crossing was uneventful. That would cause me heartburn too. Next time bring Tums! LOL! I always carry them everywhere we go. Happy that you had a good and safe trip. Thanks for sharing. 😁

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  9. joliesattic says:

    Very entertaining and even though the picture of the Ocotillo cacti is a bit blurry, it still looks cool They are my favorite cacti because they seem to always be in bloom.
    Border crossings can be stressful, that’s for sure but it sounds like your senior-dom gave you an advantage. Now you’re going to need a week to recover. LOL

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    • The trip had a few standout moments, especially sharing it with great friends. It sounds like we really lucked out with our border crossing, and yes, a bus full of senior citizens is probably not too intimidating to a bunch of heavily armed border agents 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Terry says:

    Sounds like a great way to end the tour in Scottsdale and what a fun time that evening.

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  11. Candace says:

    Sounds like Juggsie took you for a little joy ride. Having worked at the hospital which you likely saw close to the Mission, I can tell you that Walgreen’s is 3 blocks from there. The part of Scottsdale you were in is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s a whole other part of the city for miles north of there with tons more restaurants. And, of course, there is Phoenix which I personally highly prefer to Scottsdale, also full of restaurants and many other interesting destinations.

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